Marie Kondo, the patron saint of decluttering, says that you should get rid of anything that does not bring you joy. If that were true, there wouldn’t be a single pot or pan in my house.
But, when you have a beach house or a near-the-beach house, you tend to accumulate a lot of stuff. I have stuff from my Washington house that was just too good to throw away. Strange gifts from well-meaning house guests. Things that mysteriously appeared in our garage.
So I have channeled Marie, and I am ready to bid a fond farewell to the following items:
• A floral painting a la Cezanne painted by my mother-in law.
• Coasters. Lots of coasters, many with a beach theme.
• Cocktail napkins with clever sayings from the New Yorker.
• A television set the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.
• A dark and muddy abstract lithograph purchased in our Greenwich Village “bleak is chic” period.
• Artwork created from my grandsons’ hand prints.
• “Incentive pants” purchased two sizes too small in 2002 because I was going to lose a lot of weight.
• Two packages of swimdiapers that may be past their expiration date if diapers have an expiration date.
• A safari vest and a hat with a face veil of mosquito netting that my husband forgot to pack when we actually went on safari.
• Dozens of pails, shovels, rakes and assorted sand castle molds — many coated with authentic sand from Bethany Beach.
• Several scratchy beach towels and bath towels too skimpy to cover my embarrassment.
• A straw hat large enough to qualify as a beach umbrella.
• Romance paperbacks that I read in secret while swearing I am reading a biography of Albert Einstein.
Now that I have acknowledged each of these treasures, I am ready to move on.
The clothing, the straw hat and the scanty towels will be donated to the thrift shop on Route 26.
The scratchy beach towels will come in handy to wash my car — assuming I ever wash my car.
The lithograph will go to the first person I meet who is dressed entirely in black.
The sand toys, cocktail napkins and the diapers will go into the dumpster.
The excessive coasters will be re-gifted to other people with beach houses.
The romance novels will be left in a paper bag in the Bear Trap pavilion in the dead of night.
I am open to suggestions about what to do with the television set.
Of course, I will keep the artwork from my grandchildren and my mother in law. Bless their hearts.
Leslie Milk is the former Lifestyle editor of The Washingtonian magazine and author of “It’s Her Wedding, But I’ll Cry If I Want To: A survival Guide for the Mother of the Bride.”
By Leslie Milk
Special to the Coastal Point